Sunday, August 11, 2013

[READ]: "Before I Write A Book [Part 1-3]" - BasketMouth

Comedian Basketmouth will share short stories about his experience with people while growing in the Nigerian entertainment industry in a series called 'Before I Write a Book.' He plans to write a book eventually so this is a pre-entry to that project, thus, the title. Below is the first story he shares:

Back stage at the Rothmans Groove tour which held @ TBS in 1998, there I was seated with the likes of The Plantashun Boiz,Dr. Fresh,Remedies and more...
I was just a young boy trying to weigh his options on what direction to go with his career as drumming,rapping,producing and comedy were few of my options. That night was the 1st time I met Tony Tetuila, one of those humble guys you come by,he was warm and accommodating considering the obvious fact that I was nobody in the industry.

Fast forward a few months later, Comedy had won me over and in the course of my hustle and journey to where I'm yet to get to, I bumped into Tetuila in Festac, just about the time his single 'you don hit my car' came out.

We reconnected while playing catch up. We had common friends so 'bumping' into each other became a tradition. The 1st time he saw me perform @ a concert was at a gig The Plantashun Boiz used to host @ the Den in Ikeja. I must have impressed him because not long after that night, I got a call from him asking that we meet up. We did and he took me for a meeting in Lagos Island (Shell Office). A director at Shell was retiring and a send-forth party was being held in his honour.

My performance fee then was N10,000, Tony pushed it up and convinced the client to pay N30,000 which they paid cash. Prior to this, they had never heard of me and only used me because Tony believed in me and stood up for me, convincing them to buy in. I was paid in full a week to the show. After picking up the cash I went straight home. Now here I was, a young comic with his 1st major pay-out of N30,000.

Considering the fact that my 1st performance fee was N300 (1%) of what I had in my pocket,I couldn't help but to thank God. I got home,gave my mum N25,000 and kept N5,000 from which I bought a shirt,pants and shoes from Tejuosho market to wear for the event. Ready for my first big show.

 As written by comedian Basketmouth...

As I pay respect to those great men that changed my life, the seemingly little gestures that shaped me and have made me who I am... I recall another long evening... Year 2000, Fame pre-award concert. Dele Olukoju and Wale Oluwaleimu were the stage/project managers.

I had met Wale before then and he had suggested I come perform in my bid to build a name. I went there with a friend of mine,we had spent the last kobo on us transporting ourselves and getting food to eat as the event didn't start early enough. Continue...

My performance was done @ about midnight. It was a great outing for me. As it was time to leave,I met with the show organisers hoping I'd be paid for my service or get a little change for transport.
Unfortunately, communication had gone wrong somehow as they thought I was doing the performance for free.

It dawned on me at that moment, that I was in trouble. My friend and I then decided to just hang around as the concert was still on and our last hope was that we might get a free ride. By 2am, the concert was still banging in full swing and I was totally exhausted.

While moving around I met Six Foot Plus and Terry D, I was a big fan of their work and so we got talking. It so happened that they loved my performance that evening so we hit it off immediately. 

After some minutes of small talk, I swallowed my ego and pride and brought myself to ask Six Foot Plus for transport money, he didn't have much on him but he split what he had and gave me N60 which was more than enough to cover our bus fare.

 We happily bounced out from the concert, confident. We approached the main road and as God will have it,there was a bus going our way. In 30mins we were in Yaba, walking to Railway Compound-Ebute Meta where I was staying. By 4am I lay in my little corner, the end of another successful day in my struggle for relevance, I was happy at my chance to perform.

Exhausted by my ordeal but most importantly, I was grateful for that rapper who shared all he had on him with me, my new friend and saving grace, Six foot Plus


A part 3 of the comedian's Before I Write A Book series. Enjoy... 
UNIBEN - 1999 

 When the posters came up on the hostel walls that there was going to be a Talent hunt show coming up which was organised by Femi Akinwunmi, I quickly registered for it as a rapper. The star price was a CD dream. I imagined being able to replace our old cassette player and put on a CD like the rest of the boys. I practised my lines and waited for d-day. 3 days to the event, 

I woke up with fever and to find my body covered with little sores...I had chicken pox. I used calamine lotion like my life depended on it, but they only seemed to increase by the day. Then came the day of the competition. Everyone dressed up and left one after the other to the venue. I was in pain from the heat but in greater pain from being in that room rather than on that stage. 

I was covered in calamine lotion, disappointed as all my hope that I would have miraculously recovered in those 2 days had gone and with it, my dream of a CD player. As I tried to play a tape on the radio to take my mind off everything, the cassette player wouldn't work. 
That was the last straw. 

In anger, I got up, washed off the lotion from my hands and feet, washed off my face and neck. I wore a long sleeve shirt, buttoned up and hit the road with my friend/manager...Bayo Adekeye. The walk from my room to the Uniben Auditorium was the most difficult 45 mins of my life...well, one of. I got to the venue early enough, the competition was about to begin. 

I saw the brand new silver BUSH CD player on the was beautiful. I couldn't help but imagine. Then the compere, Tee A began to call out the names. Before long, I heard my name...I came out did my one track performance and in the second round,I switched the game at them,and did a comedy performance. 

The next morning, our neighbours woke up to the loudest music, it came from our room, we were celebrating, singing, shouting and dancing to music from the shiny BUSH CD player on our table...and in midst of the crowd, a young dreamer covered from head to toe in white calamine lotion danced the hardest.....
Now stops here,you guys should wait for the book. It comes out this December. :D